Standing Out in the Crowd

Do you stand out in a crowd?

Lots of people do crazy things in order to stand out. It seems that everyone wants to be memorable even if it means doing something risky. Jesus taught about standing out and how by doing this we will be effective witnesses of what it is like to follow Christ.

So how do we stand out in a world full of standout people?

Through the gospels, Jesus talks about us being salt and light. The interesting thing about salt and light is that they affect the environment they are in. Salt both preserves food and brings out its flavor. Light changes an environment that was once dark and allows us to see things clearly.

The only way that salt and light can be effective is if they are distinctive from, yet fully involved in, their environment.  Think about that for a moment, they must not be dulled down such as the examples of salt losing its saltiness or a light being put under a bowl, but they must also be part of their surroundings.  Salt works best when added to food, light shines brightest in a dark place.  So, these essential elements that Jesus is calling us to be are distinct in nature but part of the community around them.

What does this mean for us?

We are to be actively engaged in our world but not take on its ideals and behaviors. We are not to separate ourselves from the communities we find ourselves in.  It is in these communities that we can be the most effective salt and light.  Yet we are to remain distinctive by staying true to the morals and values we have as followers of Christ.  In doing this we provide an alternative to those who are following the ways of the world. Our presence is in distinct contrast to the world around us.  

We offer an alternative voice to what the world is saying about marriages, family, priorities, work ethics, and lifestyle.  This is going to be challenged by those who don’t agree, which is why Jesus talks about the persecution that will come as we live as salt and light.  Attention will come our way when we behave as salt and light.  Some people won’t like what we offer and will rise up in resistance.  

We need to realise that our life as followers of Christ is going to bring attention to us.  Because we approach things differently we will stand out. Even though we aren’t going out and looking for it, just the fact that we offer an alternative way to living a full life is going to draw attention in a world that is marked by suffering and pain.  We are inevitably going to also face opposition from others but let’s not let that deter us from living in the way Jesus encourages us to.  Don’t shy away from those around us in fear of being judged and hurt.

Jesus encourages us to live as salt and light so that we might bring glory to God.  He is the focus of our efforts as we are not being salt and light for our own glory but rather to glorify Him.

Lord, Please help me to be salt and light in the community You have placed me it.  Give me the strength to stand when opposition comes and as I do this may Your name be glorified. Amen



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